Bandits Attack: “Kaduna Airport won’t be shut down” – FAAN

Mabel Kanu

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The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Hamisu Yadudu says the Kaduna International Airport will not be shut down despite last Saturday’s attack by bandits on the agency’s staff quarters.

Captain Yadudu who spoke at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos during the oversight function visit by the Senate Committee on Aviation, regretted the attack on its staff quarters but vowed that the management, the State Government and the various security agencies would not relent in their efforts at ensuring the safety of humans and equipment at all the airports across the country.

According to him, before the unfortunate attack, the management had beefed up security networks at all the nation’s airports, stressing that the current attack would not discourage it from clamping down on any heinous crimes anywhere within the sector.

“This incident is entirely different from closing down the airport. It’s a security concern that we have at our staff quarters. A lot of our staff do not even live in these quarters. If there is a need for us to close, we will close it, but this is even far away from it.

“There is no need for that drastic action. Just a small percentage of our staff stay in the staff quarters; the rest are all living in the town. You can see that the staff quarters is fenced. We are taking appropriate measures, but like I said, we just have to improve to counter these challenges.

“The fence was broken, there are security measures. We have security personnel attending to the area, but somehow, somewhere, things happened and now it is time for us to counter as we have been doing always.

“Security is a race. Security challenges will always come and we will improve and on our own part, we keep improving to outsmart them. Anytime there is a breach of security architecture, we will still do the same thing. Our staff can attest to this, the state government can attest to this and even the security agencies can tell you this, the Managing Director explained.

He said that FAAN had since 2020, further beefed up security at the various airports across the country, which had foiled attacks in the sector, maintaining that the agency in collaboration with the other security agencies and the Kaduna State Government would rise to the occasion.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Captain Fola Akinkuotu, lamented that almost 24 hours after kidnappers abducted its staff and five family members and three other persons at Kaduna Airport, their abductors were yet to make contact with the agency.

He, therefore, appealed to the visiting Senate Committee to partner with the agencies in order to move the sector forward and provide seamless services to their various clients.

Captain Akinkuotu also sought the cooperation of the National Assembly in protecting assets of NAMA at various stations and airports, stressing that some of its equipment are regularly vandalised by hoodlums.

He warned that this may jeopardise the efforts of the government in improving air safety in the sector.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi, canvassed for state and local government policing as a way of enhancing the security architecture in and around the country.

He explained that despite the increase in the population of the country over the years, the security architecture remained the same, while Nigeria is faced with porous borders.

Adeyemi who however regretted the sordid security challenges, which had pervaded the country in recent times, called for the restructuring of the entire country in a bid to address the various security challenges confronting it and wondered why some continued to kick against restructuring.

He maintained that the agitation for restructuring would not lead to secession of the country as claimed in some quarters.

“There is a need for us to evolve new security architecture for Nigeria. Our population has increased and we are still faced with porous borders. Nigeria is not a clear cut federal system. I don’t know how to describe this country; federal system or unitary system, but I do know that Nigeria is said to be a federation and all nations where federalism is practiced, we do not run a unitary system of policing.

 “I think the time has come for Nigeria to evolve a system that will appreciate the size of the nation and the diversities. You don’t recruit a graduate we graduated from University of Maiduguri for instance and you post him to Lagos to come and police. He doesn’t know the system and the areas. So, criminals can take advantage of that.

 “What I am saying, in essence, is that the time has come for Nigeria to look at not just a state police, but a local government policing and that is why in the United States, their security is very effective because when you visit any county, the police are aware of those who live there, he said

Adeyemi, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to make available special funding to improve security in the aviation industry.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt. Musa Nuhu, enumerated paucity of funds, drop-in aviation revenues and adequate training for personnel especially technical staff as some of the challenges facing the agency.

PIAK

 

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